It's been a full month since Terry Francona managed his last game for the Cleveland Guardians, and they still haven't had any luck replacing him. Several candidates have been considered, but none have been hired.
Guardians fans have been getting their hopes up about Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who recently interviewed for the role. Based on his background as a former player and his track record of success with the Brewers, he seems like a pretty good fit.
Unfortunately, Cleveland isn't the only team he's considering.
Craig Counsell Rumors
According to a report on Monday from SNY, Counsell also has "serious interest" in the New York Mets.
That's not a good sign for the Guardians, especially if Counsell is simply using us as leverage. The Mets are a more attractive option for a variety of resources, including more prestige and national attention as well as a much larger payroll.
As a small-market team with a low payroll, Cleveland is the exact opposite. Counsell already managed a similar operation with Milwaukee, so the question now becomes whether he's comfortable with that or looking for a change of scenery.
An Indiana native, Counsell is a Midwestern guy at heart, which could make the Guardians more appealing. Aside from a very brief stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a player, he's played and managed almost exclusively for small and mid-market teams, including the Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies.
New York would be a massive jump for Counsell, and it's unclear if he's ready for that. Managers in New York are constantly on the hot seat and face daily scrutiny, so does he really want to manage inside of a fishbowl?
The Mets recently hired Counsell's old boss, David Stearns, to be their new president of baseball operations, which could be a deciding factor. Counsell doesn't have an obvious connection to Cleveland, which may ultimately steer him toward the Big Apple.
If the Guardians lose out on Counsell, they'll be right back where they started.
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